October 5, 2023 at 8:07 a.m.
Cass County Board:

Employee medical plans and Opioid Liaison position discussed



By By Kyndra Johnson of the Press-Citizen | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

   WALKER — The Cass County Commissioners recognized several employees for one year of service at the regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Board chair Scott Bruns handed out a certificate and pin to recognize employees with anniversary dates during the month of September and October. Those employees recognized were: Donna Bork, Jailer; Rachel Deck, Probation Officer; Tyler Jessen, Shop Mechanic; Nichol Lauterbach, Engineering Technician; Danielle Brandenberg, Support Enforcement Aide - Child Support; Allison Campbell, Office Support Specialist Sr.; Cody Coyer, Team Leader; Rochelle Gravdahl, Eligibility Worker; Aaron Isaacs, Motor Equipment Operator and Lesli Robison, Child Support Specialist. Becky Reimer, Eligibility Worker, was also recognized for six years of service upon her separation from the county.

   County Administrator Josh Stevenson shared two separate committee reports with the board. The first report from the insurance committee regarding 2024 insurance benefits. Stevenson shared that with the recent changes the board approved at the last meeting regarding employee compensation, the county contribution remains the same as the previous year. Also, the county is no longer requiring employees to enroll in the county medical plan and if employees are not enrolled they will no longer receive the county contribution. Therefore, the recommendation from the insurance committee was to approve option B for medical insurance along with the employer providing funds into a Health Savings Account (HSA) for employees enrolled in the Single and Single + 1 HSA medical plans. The committee also recommended continuing with the current dental insurance plan with a 6.5% increase for 2024 and continuing with internal wellness until the plan can support additional costs. A motion was made by Commissioners Bob Kangas and rick Haaland with the motion passing unanimously.

   The second report Stevenson shared was from the Opioid settlement committee. The committee met and discussed strategies for staffing the Cass County Opioid Liaison. It was noted during the meeting the county currently has a Public Health Nurse opening for this position, but with only one applicant in the past three months and the applicant withdrawing from the process after the first interview a new position needed to be created. Therefore the committee recommends creating a Public Health Planner position and having DDA Human Resources  conduct a grade rating in order for the county to begin advertising for the position. This motion was made and approved unanimously. 

   The committee also discussed first-year opioid settlement requirements, with the county required to schedule meetings with all municipalities and school districts in order to solicit input on how to address opioids within the community. Therefore, Kathy Nevins, Nurse Practitioner with Essentia Health, reached out to municipalities and set up the following schedule of meetings: Oct. 9 in Federal Dam at 6 p.m.; Oct. 10 in Pine River at 5 p.m. and in Pillager at 6:30 p.m.; Oct. 18 in Longville at 4 p.m.; Oct. 23 in Lake Shore at 6 p.m. and Nov. 14 in Remer at 5:30 p.m. A meeting has also been scheduled with county school superintendents for Nov. 9. A motion was made and approved unanimously to reimburse committee members for mileage for the attendance of these meetings.

   In other business, the county board:

   • Held a public hearing to adopt a resolution approving the appointive process making the presently elected position of Recorder an appointed Department Head. With no written or verbal comments the hearing was closed and the adoption of the resolution was approved unanimously.

   • Held a public hearing to adopt a resolution designating the Cass County Economic Development Corporation as a Local Development Organization to administer the Revolving Loan Fund for Community Property Development. With no advanced comments and a few citizens in attendance voicing their support for the resolution the resolution was adopted unanimously.

   • Approved a funding request from Cass County Historical Society to update the bathrooms to comply with ADA Access Standards.

   • Approve additional costs in the amount of $6,138.79 to Anderson Brothers Construction for additional work needed to correct ADA compliance issues at the Health, Human and Veterans Services building.

   • Approve a proposal estimate in the amount of $39,550 from Canine Forensic Foundation for the County State Aid Highway 37 project near Walker.

   The next meetings are as follows: Closed meeting to the public for Department Head Evaluations 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10 in the courthouse annex in Walker; Commissioner’s board meeting 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the Land Department  Meeting room in Backus; Association of Minnesota Counties District 2 Fall Conference beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Beltrami County Board Room, 701 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji and commissioner’s board meeting 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker.


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